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HomeFood and RecipesOld fashioned hermit cookies

Old fashioned hermit cookies

November 15 is National Spicy Hermit Cookie Day. In keeping with the spirit of the day, here’s a tested recipe for Old Fashioned Hermit Cookies. The original recipe was developed and appeared in an 1880 Plattsburgh, New York, church cookbook. They use less butter than many cookies and keep well. The “hermit” name came about because they can hide away and still be good for a bit.

Cook Time: 12 mins  Yield: 48 cookies


1/2 cup butter room temperature

1 cup brown sugar packed

2 large eggs

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/8 tsp allspice

1/8 tsp nutmeg

1 cup raisins

1 cup chopped dates

1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts or pecans


Preheat your oven to 350 F.  Prepare cookie sheets by greasing them well or just using a sheet of parchment paper.

Cream together butter and brown sugar. Add eggs and beat until mixture is pale and thick.  This should take about 2 minutes. Add vanilla and beat till well incorporated.

In a separate bowl, stir flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, allspice and nutmeg. Add this to the mixer bowl and slowly mix this in only until dry ingredients are moist.  You will make the mixture tougher the longer you mix it. Incorporate raisins, dates and nuts using mixer or with a wooden spoon.

Drop cookies by tablespoonsful onto prepared baking sheets, about 2 inches apart. Bake 10-12 minutes or until edges are set but centers still appear moist. Cool on the baking sheets for 2 minutes.  Transfer to wire racks to cool.

Store in airtight containers.  They’re good for about 10 days this way.  You can freeze them on cookie sheets then transfer to freeze bags where they’ll store well in the freezer for 3 months.  Thaw before serving.

Store in an airtight container (up to 10 days) or freeze on a flat surface then transfer to freezer bags to store up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature for 15 minutes before serving.

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